The Corner

Distinguished Analysis

From the George Polk Journalism Award-winning site TPM:

On the stump, not a single word that comes out of [Palin’s] mouth — or not a single word that the McCain folks put in her mouth — is anything but a lie. I know that sounds like hyperbole. But just go down the list. None of them bear out. 

And here, via the Federal News Service, are Palin’s remarks at a rally Friday in Sterling Heights, Michigan:

GOV. PALIN: Wow, thank you! (Cheers, applause.) Wow! Thank you so much! (Cheers, applause.) Thank you so much.

Wow! (Laughs.) (Cheers, applause.) (Crowd chants, “USA! USA! USA!”)

Thank you so much! Wow! Thank you so much! (Cheers, applause.)

It is so good to be here in beautiful Sterling Heights, Michigan. Thank you! (Cheers, applause.) I’m honored to be here with John and Cindy McCain! (Cheers, applause.)

So what do you think about his speech last night? What do you say? (Cheers, applause.) Are we looking at the next president and first lady of the United States of America? (Cheers, applause.)

So it fits that we went this morning right from the convention to Smalltown, USA. And it’s said that we grow good people in small towns and bigger ones, too, obviously. (Cheers, applause.) You people working hard, working hard for America, you who love your country in good times and in bad, and are always proud to be Americans. (Cheers, applause.)

I know these kinds of people because I grew up with them. Good folks, hard working, salt of the earth, just like the good folks here in Sterling Heights, Michigan. Thank you for letting us be here. Thank you! (Cheers, applause.)

I owe Michigan a great big thank you, also. My son got to spend much of his senior year of high school a couple of years ago in this state. He got to be here long enough to attend some high school that senior year and play hockey here outside of Kalamazoo. He absolutely loved it! (Cheers, applause.)

Michigan, you took care of my boy when he was doing what he loved to do, and now that boy is a man serving in the U.S. Army. (Cheers, applause.) And he’s going to take care of you and this country that we love! (Cheers, applause.)

John S. McCain also has loved and served this country in good times and in bad. (Cheers, applause.) Maybe you remember, it was just about a year ago when things with the war looked very, very bad. Some in Washington declared that the McCain campaign was doomed because he refused to hedge his commitment to the security of our country. They told us that all was lost and that there was no hope for this candidate who said he would rather lose an election than see his country lose a war. (Cheers, applause.)

But the pollster and the pundits, they forgot one thing when they tried to write him off. They forgot the caliber of the man himself, the determination, the resolve, the sheer guts of Senator John McCain! (Cheers, applause.)

Of course, the voters knew better, and maybe that’s because they realize there is a time for politics and a time for leadership. There’s a time to campaign, and there is a time to put our country first. (Cheers, applause.) John McCain is a man who wore his country’s uniform for 22 years. And he refused to break faith with our troops in Iraq, who have now brought victory within sight. And as the mother of one of those troops, that is exactly the kind of man I want as commander in chief! (Cheers, applause.)

Good judgment in the commander in chief can make the difference between victory and defeat, between avoiding a crisis and inviting a catastrophe. And the best case in point is the surge in Iraq, which our opponent opposed because he said it was doomed to fail. (Audience jeers.) But just last night, our opponent finally admitted what we’ve known all along, and that’s thanks to the skill and the valor of American troops, the surge in Iraq is working. (Cheers, applause.) (Audience chants, “USA! USA! USA!”) Our opponent said, the surge, quote, “has succeeded in ways that nobody anticipated.”

But it WAS anticipated. There was one leader in Washington who did predict success, who refused to call retreat, who risked his own career for the sake of the surge and for victory in Iraq. And ladies and gentlemen, that man is standing here right next to me, a true profile in courage, John McCain! (Cheers, applause.) (Crowd chants, “John McCain! John McCain! John McCain!”)

Now, had America failed in Iraq, the consequences would have been terrible and far reaching. If the United States military had suffered defeat at the hands of al Qaeda in Iraq, our nation would be less safe today and millions of innocent people would have been left to a violent fate. That tragedy would have happened if Barack Obama had gotten his way and Congress had cut off funding for the surge.

It did not happen, though, because John McCain was right, and he had the vision and the will to see the surge through to victory! (Cheers, applause.)

Here’s how I look at the choice that we face in this election. In politics, there are some candidates who use change to promote their careers, and then there are those like John McCain who use their careers to promote change. (Cheers, applause.) (Crowd chants, “Sarah! Sarah! Sarah!”)

Among politicians, there is the idealism of high-flown speech- making with endless talk about great things. And then there is the idealism of leaders like John McCain who actually do great things. (Cheers, applause.)

Senator McCain has shown this quality so clearly. And that’s why he presents such a threat to business as usual in Washington. (Applause.) And this is a moment when principles and political independence matter a lot more than the party line. And this is a man who has always been there to serve his country, not just his party. A leader who’s not looking for a fight but sure isn’t afraid of one, either. (Cheers, applause.)

See, John McCain doesn’t run with the Washington herd. He’s willing to shake things up in Washington, and that is only one more reason to take the maverick of the Senate and put him in the White House! (Cheers, applause.)

We’ve done some shaking up in Alaska, too. As governor, I took on the old politics as usual in Juneau. I stood up to the special interests and the lobbyists and the big-oil companies and the good- old-boys network. (Cheers, applause.) True reform is hard, though. True reform really is tough to achieve. But in short order, we put the government of our state back on the side of the people.

I came to office promising major ethics reform to end the culture of self-dealing. And today, that ethics reform is the law, and that’s what we’re going to bring to Washington. (Cheers, applause.)

And while I was at it, we got rid of a few things in the governor’s office that I didn’t believe our citizens should have to pay for. That luxury jet, it was over the top, so I put it on eBay. (Cheers, applause.) And I love to drive myself to work. And as you might have heard, we got rid of the governor’s personal chef, though I have to admit there, my kids really do miss her. (Laughter.)

I came to office promising to control spending, by request, if possible, but by veto, if necessary. (Cheers, applause.) Senator McCain also promises to use the power of veto in defense of the public interest. And as a chief executive, I can assure you that it works. (Cheers, applause.)

See, this is a moment that requires that kind of toughness and strength in the heart of the American president. And my running mate is a man who has shown those qualities in the darkest of places and in the service of his country. Our opponents have been going on quite a bit lately about how they always, quote, “fight for you.” But since Senator McCain won’t say this on his own behalf, let me say it. There is only ONE man in this election who has ever really fought for you — (cheers, applause) — and that man is John McCain! (Crowd chants, “John McCain! John McCain! John McCain!”)

So it’s a long way from the fear and the pain and the squalor of a four-by-six cell in Hanoi to the Oval Office. But with your help, that is the journey he will have made, it’s the journey of an upright and honorable man, the kind of fellow whose name you’ll find on war memorials in small towns across this great country, only he was among those who came home. (Cheers, applause.)

To the most powerful office on earth, this man will bring the compassion that comes from having once been powerless, the wisdom that comes even to the captives by the grace of God and the special confidence of those who have seen evil and have seen how evil is overcome.

And I love the story — I love the story — of his fellow prisoner of war, a man named Tom Moe of Lancaster, Ohio. Tom recalls looking through a pinhole in his cell door as Lieutenant Commander John McCain was led down the hallway by the guards, day after day. As the story goes, when McCain shuffled back from torturous interrogations, he would turn toward Moe’s door and flash a grin and a thumbs up as if to say, we’re gonna pull through this!

And my fellow Americans, that is the kind of man America needs to see us through the next four years! (Cheers, applause.) (Crowd chants, “John McCain! John McCain! John McCain!”)

He is the only great man in this race, and he is the only man in this election ready to serve as our 44th president. And I am honored to introduce to you my running mate, my friend, the next president of the United States, Senator John McCain! (Cheers, applause.) (Crowd chants, “USA! USA! USA!”)

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